Pakistan recalls six High Commission staffers from Delhi

There was no official confirmation on the number of diplomats leaving India.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 7:18 pm
Pakistan, Pakistan diplomats, Pakistan diplomats India, India Pakistan, Pakistan diplomats leave india, Pakistan High Commission, Pakistan news, India news Indian security personnel walk past the main gate of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. (File/Reuters)

In a further blow to Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan today pulled out six officials at its High Commission here, days after a mission staffer Mehmood Akhtar was expelled by India over alleged espionage. Though there was no official announcement here about Pakistan withdrawing its diplomats, according to Pakistani sources, six mission officials have returned home.

WATCH VIDEO: Faceoff Escalates Between India & Pakistan: Find Out What Happened

The officials, who left India, included commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal whose names were referred to by Akhtar during his interrogation in connection with the spying scandal, according to sources in the Pakistan High Commission. “The decision has been taken after it became impossible for the officials to work in this vitiated atmosphere,” adding that, “Indian government is threatening and blackmailing our diplomats. So, in this condition, it is impossible for us to stay in this country and work.”

Read: India to withdraw eight diplomats from Pakistan

The development comes days after India declared Pakistani official Akhtar persona non-grata for espionage activities, triggering a tit for tat action by Islamabad, which also expelled an Indian High Commission official posted there.

Earlier, media reports emerging from Islamabad said Pakistan may ask at least two officials of the Indian High Commission to leave the country for their alleged involvement in subversive activities.

The two officials were identified and their photographs were being flashed by different TV news channels in Pakistan. Geo TV reported that commercial counsellor Rajesh Agnihotri and press counsellor Balbir Singh may be expelled. Indian officials said because of such media reports the security of these diplomats has been “hugely compromised”.

Citing sources, the channel claimed that Agnihotri was directly linked with RAW, while Singh was working for Intelligence Bureau (IB). The duo, it was alleged, were using their positions in Pakistan as cover to hide their real identities. It claimed Singh was also running a network of militants in Pakistan and expelled High Commission official Surjeet Singh was also part of his network.

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  1. A
    Ahmed
    Nov 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm
    Spitting venom can not ease the relations. The animosity being experienced now was never before. With the coming up of Modi why the situation aggravated so much. Winning elevtions by bashing stan was the objective instead of working for people. Hate hate and only hate is germinating. Surely if continued will end up in war rather nuclear war
    Reply
    1. A
      Australian
      Nov 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm
      in India, its only words and words and words, keyboard commandos writing hateful comments all the time, while its natural, any one can scream, shouts and writes hateful comments about another country in their homeland. i am Australian and i read both stani and Indian comments. sorry to say i found Indian comments degrading and hateful, while on the ground reality is totally the opposite. You need to be practical, don't just shout, do it, if you have ball, s. sorry to say but you need to face the reality,stop claiming prosperous and advance economy, while millions are hungry and not enough toilets for everyone. the reality is India is one of the most corrupt countries of the world. wake up, face the reality.
      Reply
      1. N
        Narasimham
        Nov 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm
        Forget stan forever.forget its existence,people(terrorists),and its history. Wipe out,liberate oppressed people of Baluchistan and others aspiring freedom.this what India should do at this time.china will think twice to intervene definitely.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sudhip Kumar
          Nov 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm
          Must also have taken away vital information. creeps...
          Reply
          1. A
            Ajay
            Nov 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm
            obviously, they had to pull out, after all their ISI cover is blown :)
            Reply
            1. A
              ANIRBAN BANERJEE
              Nov 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm
              So the cat is out of the bag. Pak spies are leaving our country for good. This is not a blow to Indo-Pak relations.It indicates the success of our intelligence agencies in unearthing moles in the stan High Commission.There is no reason for India to take -for -tat action.By withdrawing these people, who were named by the alleged ISI operative,who was later expelled by India, stan has made a defacto admission that these people were spies and their cover has been blowndia needs to heighten vigilance about the work of ISI operativesdia will also have to beware of Bibhishans and MirJafars who can sell the nations's interests for thirty pieces of silver.Some have already been unearthed.But I think that this is only the tip of the iceberg. ANIRBAN BANERJEE,Professor of Sociology, The University of Burdwan
              Reply
              1. R
                Raj
                Nov 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm
                They need to close diplomatic ties with stan. Come on, a country attempts to shame another country at the UN, openly claiming hostilities! Ministers there speak of nuking India - and you want diplomatic missions there? What for? Trade is non-existent! If something happens here from there, they will deny it - cook up conspiracy theories and blame you instead. What purpose do you wish to have relations, any relations with these people?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;There is nothing stan can give India, nothing at all - but it wants land, people, rivers and mountains from India! It wants India to amend its consution for it, it wants to be treated better than India treats itself (not even equally) and it has a delusional sense of history and contemporary politics.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;No one in the world likes stan - no country at all. Not even Islamic countries! What do you want relations with such a country? Just a sheer waste of tax payer's money. Just close borders, close the doors and pretend that country doesn't exist. Seal border to North Korea and South Korea proportions - the same level of scrutiny and just forget stan.
                Reply
                1. R
                  Raj
                  Nov 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm
                  Yet another stan - and nuclear war. What is it with you people? You think with a nuke, you're a power of some kind? Nonsense, even North Korea has nukes. Not just spitting venom, gates need to be shut from the Indian side, India needs nothing from stan, nothing that it has interests India. Bye bye, nice knowing you, catch you in 50 years...
                  Reply
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